The RBA will maintain its support measures as new data from the ABS shows the tentative start of the economic recovery.
The RBA will keep its “accommodative approach” to supporting jobs, incomes and businesses for “as long as required” in order to aid the economic recovery, according to the minutes of its June meeting.
“The board recognised that the substantial, coordinated and unprecedented easing of fiscal and monetary policy in Australia was helping the economy through this difficult period,” the RBA wrote in the minutes. “It was likely that this fiscal and monetary support would be required for some time.
“(The board’s) actions were keeping funding costs low and supporting the supply of credit to households and businesses.”
The RBA was also seeing signs that the downturn might be “shallower” than previously expected despite massive hits to employment and consumption.
“The rate of new infections had declined significantly and some restrictions had been eased earlier than had previously been thought likely,” the RBA wrote. “However, the outlook remained highly uncertain and the pandemic was likely to have long-lasting effects on the economy.”
Meanwhile, new payroll data from the ABS shows that jobs increased by 1.0 per cent through May, a stark reversal of fortunes compared to previous months and supporting Treasury’s new estimates that unemployment will only reach 8 per cent rather than the previously forecast of 10 per cent.
“The latest data showed that the total payroll job losses since mid-March were greatest in the week ending 18 April (8.9 per cent) and had recovered to a 7.5 per cent loss by the end of May,” said ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis.
Payroll jobs worked by women increased by 1.4 per cent, compared with 0.4 per cent for men. However, total female job losses since mid-March were still greater. Jobs worked by multiple jobholders were “heavily over-represented” in losses, with 29 per cent of jobs lost since mid-March previously worked as a secondary job.